Death Care Compliance Law

Death Care Compliance Law

Preneed: A Pandora's Box of Problems

William Stalter is the founder of Stalter Legal Services and the Preneed Resource Company. Bill focuses his law practice on preneed and death care compliance, serving banks, funeral homes, crematories, and cemeteries. He has written multiple published articles

Tag Archives: Exams/audits

The Missouri State Board: But Will the Division Change its Ways?

Posted in Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1
The rift between the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors and their Executive Director culminated in her resignation effective June 30th.    Over the course of the past several years, the State Board drew the ire of the industry in a number of ways.   The staff implemented regulation proposals before they were officially promulgated,… Continue Reading

Missouri Preneed Exam Procedures: Industry Expertise

Posted in Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1, Uncategorized
Our first recommendation to the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors is that they assume, and maintain, control over the preneed examination procedures.    The exam procedures implemented two years ago were never submitted to the Board for review and approval.  Accordingly, the examination procedures handbook should remind the staff that any change made… Continue Reading

Missouri’s Adequate Preneed Records: Performance and Cancellation Records

Posted in Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1, Recordkeeping
When the State Board approved a new “adequate seller records” rule on April 25th, there wasn’t much discussion of the documents or reports to be maintained for performed and canceled preneed contracts.  In a sense, the Board may not need to expand beyond the FTC’s statement of goods and services requirement.  If a funeral home… Continue Reading

Missouri’s Adequate Preneed Records: Receipt and Transmittal Records

Posted in Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1
The Missouri funeral industry has haggled with the State Board for two years over preneed record requirements.  But on April 25th, the State Board scrapped the staff’s adequate record proposal, and instead, adopted a brief definition of ‘seller records’.   The State Board’s approach will afford funeral homes more flexibility in documenting the receipt of consumer… Continue Reading

Missouri’s Funeral Board: Taking Back the Reins

Posted in Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1
The April 25th meeting of the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors marked an important transition where industry members assumed control over the protection of consumers’ preneed funds.   After the first round of financial examinations, the Board’s procedures for the second round were defined by the Board’s staff, and never submitted to the… Continue Reading

Missouri Preneed Examinations: The Doctrine of Semi-Absurd Statutory Construction

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1
Missouri funeral homes are frustrated with the State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors.  The second round of preneed examinations has begun, and the Board’s staff is citing sellers for “new” contract form violations on “old” contracts.  Examiners are reviewing all outstanding contracts, including those covered in the seller’s first examination, and now citing the… Continue Reading

Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors: Ten Years after NPS

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1
Ten years after the collapse of NPS, the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors has a confidence problem with licensees and legislators.  Licensees see a regulator that is obsessed with DBAs, renewal reports, and exams that focus on contract provisions.  Legislators see a regulator that will not fulfill the SB1 mandate to protect… Continue Reading

The Missouri Board Chairman’s Rally Cry: Follow Me, Boys!

Posted in Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1, Recordkeeping, Reporting, Uncategorized
Pursuant to a notice that may, or may not, satisfy state law, the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors met in closed session this morning.   At the State Board’s December meeting, Division counsel advised that 24 hours’ notice to the public was required to amend the Board’s agenda.   Notice of this 9:00 am… Continue Reading

Missouri Seller Records: The Starting Point for an Audit Trail

Posted in Exams/audits, Recordkeeping, Uncategorized
The last time the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors took up the issue of preneed seller record keeping requirements, the staff proposal emphasized a contract ledger approach.  The proposal sought to require a contract record that reflected the amount and date of each payment received and the corresponding dates and amounts deposited… Continue Reading

Missouri’s Funeral Board: Returning to the Scene of the Crime

Posted in Exams/audits, Recordkeeping
Two years ago, the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors met in Independence to discuss their staff’s recommendations for seller record keeping requirements and the scope of preneed examinations.  As the minutes somewhat reflect, the staff proposals were met with strong public opposition.   (This blog documented those issues in prior posts that are listed… Continue Reading

Missouri Preneed Examinations: An Important Pivot

Posted in Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1, Uncategorized
In their last meeting, the members of the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors took a small, but important pivot in the preneed examination process.  The State Board approved a recommendation made by the Financial Examination Committee that the Committee review each examination report and prepare the letter that accompanies the report to… Continue Reading

The MFT Complaint: Rollovers and Common Trust Funds

Posted in Administration, Investments, Recordkeeping, Reporting
In paragraphs 39 through 52, and paragraphs 79 through 95, of the Complaint filed against the Missouri Funeral Trust, the State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors raises issues with regard to the preneed trusts that were transferred by funeral homes to MFT.  The re-write of Missouri’s preneed law in 2009 provided the MFT an… Continue Reading

MFT Complaint: Canceled and Performed Contract Accounts

Posted in Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1, Recordkeeping
The next claim made in the Missouri State Board Complaint against the Missouri Funeral Trust is that the program is holding funds for preneed contracts that have either been serviced or canceled.   The Complaint cites Section 436.456 as legally requiring the MFT trustee to distribute an account’s funds when it receives documentation that the contract… Continue Reading

The MFT Complaint: Principal in Excess of the Preneed Contract

Posted in Compliance, Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1, Recordkeeping
Paragraph 26b of the Complaint filed by the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors alleges that the Missouri Funeral Trust fails to maintain “records that explain why the principal held in trust exceeds the face value of the preneed contract associated with that account…”  We anticipate that this claim is considering the contract… Continue Reading

Missouri’s Longest Preneed Audit: Continued until October

Posted in Exams/audits, Master Trusts, Missouri - SB1, Recordkeeping, Uncategorized
After five months of trading Complaints and Answers, the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors and the Missouri Funeral Trust have been assigned an October hearing date before the Administrative Hearing Commission.   The dispute between the State Board and the MFDEA’s master trust program has been waging for years over issues such as… Continue Reading

Round 2 of Missouri’s Preneed Exams: The Document Request

Posted in Exams/audits, Missouri - SB1
It has been more than a year since the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors approved the expansion of the scope of financial examinations.  Consequently, preneed sellers up for their second preneed audit are receiving notices that request the following reports and documents: A current statement from your state or federally chartered financial… Continue Reading

Missouri Rule Rollback: The 18 Month Deadline

Posted in Missouri - SB1
Keeping true to a campaign promise, one of the first acts of Missouri Governor Eric Greitens was to issue an executive order that gives each state agency until June 30, 2018 to repeal or cease any regulation that is ineffective, unnecessary of unduly burdensome.  The Governor’s order sets out the following review procedures: Every State… Continue Reading